MAYFIELD, Ky. - A group of Amish men were sent to jail in western Kentucky Thursday for refusing to pay fines for breaking a state highway law that requires their horse-drawn buggies to be marked with orange reflective triangles.
The men have a religious objection to the bright orange signs, which they say are flashy and conflict with their pledge to live low-key and religious lives.
Ananias Byler, the first of 10 Amish men due in Graves County District Court on Thursday, was sentenced to 10 days in jail. The men were jailed for being found in contempt of court for refusing to pay the fines. Byler told Judge Deborah Crooks Thursday that he would not pay the $489 he owes.
"I totally understand your objection," the judge told Byler. "But you're in violation, and it's not up to me to change the law. It doesn't really matter what I think about any of this."
The men belong to a conservative breakaway group of Amish known as Swartzentruber. They live simply, with no electricity, plumbing or appliances. But in recent years they have been running afoul of the law for refusing to use the triangles on their buggies, and some were sent to jail last year.